Chris Wilder is calling on his players to create their own little piece of history when they do battle with Premier League giants Newcastle United at St James’s Park on Tuesday night (ko 7.45pm).
Town travel to the north east as the big underdogs, but Wilder believes that Steve McClaren’s side can be beaten.
And he will be using the Cobblers’ famous win against Liverpool at Anfield in the same competition back in 2010 to inspire his players as they head out to face the Magpies.
Ian Sampson’s team were given no chance of progression when they took on Roy Hodgson’s Reds on a rainy night on Merseyside.
But they defied the odds to draw the match 2-2 after extra-time thanks to goals from Billy McKay and Michael Jacobs, and then went on to win the penalty shoot-out in one of the greatest nights in the club’s long history.
“The game starts at 0-0, there is always the opportunity that we can go there and get a result, and that’s what we will be believing,” said Wilder.
“This club knows that’s possible, because it went to Liverpool a few years ago and had an incredible night for the supporters, an incredible night for the players, and got an unbelievable result.
“It can happen. We know everything is stacked against us, but we believe that these things do happen in the game, as has been shown in the history of football, and we will believe we can go there and get a result.”
As well as the win over Liverpool, the Cobblers have also claimed other notable League Cup scalps in recent years, including Bolton Wanderers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City, Ipswich Town and Reading, and Wilder wants to add to that list of triumphs.
“There is always history, and this club has had a fantastic record in the League Cup, and we want to continue that,” said the Cobblers boss.
“We know there are a lot of things that are going to have to go for us on the night for us to get a result, but if you don’t think you can go up there and try and progress, then it’s not worth getting on the bus.
“This is a new group of players and it is an opportunity for them to make a name for themselves, and make a name for the club, as have previous players, and previous teams done at this club.”
So what is the key to claiming a famous win? What is the magic ingredient? Well, among other things, Wilder says it’s about getting ‘a lot of luck’.
Asked how Northampton can see off Newcastle, Wilder said: “A lot of luck on the night, our players have to play well, and their players have to have an off night.
“It’s pretty much as simple as that.
“Their players, whatever team they pick, are expected to go into their team and do well at Premier League level, and that is an unbelievably high standard as we have seen.
“So their players will have to have an off night, and our players are going to have to have the night of their lives, but it can happen.
“I don’t know what questions Phil Parkinson was asked before the Chelsea FA Cup game last season, but it’s a similar scenario, and Bradford ended up winning.
“These things don’t happen very often, but they can happen, and we have to believe it could be our night at Newcastle on Tuesday.”